James Worthy On James Harden And Stephen Curry: “Can’t Even Breathe On Them Or It’s A Foul”

Photo Credit: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group

James Worthy On James Harden And Stephen Curry: “Can’t Even Breathe On Them Or It’s A Foul”


The state of the NBA is often criticized due to a lack of physicality which is also influenced by rules and referee whistles. This is why a lot of retired players, who are used to a rougher game, seem to have issues with today’s NBA and its players.

The latest old-head who ripped the current state of the NBA, is retired Lakers shooting guard James Worthy. During the Lakers-Mavericks scrimmage on Thursday, Worthy commented about the hand-checking rule and how defenders couldn’t challenge scorers like James Harden and Stephen Curry.

As transcribed by NBC Sports:


“Not hand-check. They’ve taken that away from the game, and you used to be able to use your forearm — as long as you didn’t extend it — that’s been good defense throughout the NBA,” Worthy said during a Thursday broadcast of a Lakers vs. Mavericks scrimmage. “And I think that would, you know, challenge some of these scorers who, a lot of them, like (James) Harden and (Stephen) Curry, you can’t touch ’em — you can’t even breathe on them — or it’s a foul.

I’d like to see the game get back a little bit to where you can tag them a little bit.”



James Harden has been one of the best offensive players in the NBA, averaging 29.6 points and 6.3 assists per game on 44.2% shooting from the field with the Houston Rockets since 2013. But he frequently gets called out due to his style of play that involves a lot of foul-hunting, which isn’t very pleasing to watch from a fan perspective.

Harden only averaged 4.3 free-throw attempts per game with the Oklahoma City Thunder in his first three years in the NBA. With the Rockets, that number has blew up to 10.4 free-throw attempts per game, with Harden hitting 11.4 free-throw attempts this season.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry is only averaging 4.0 free-throw attempts per game for his entire career. His career-high only stands at 5.9 free-throw attempts per game in the 2017-18 NBA season. 

James Worthy does have a compelling argument about the hand-checking rule and its potential benefit to today’s players (on defense). However, ‘Big Game James’ completely went overboard by putting Harden and Curry in the same sentence in terms of getting foul calls. 


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